The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced March 7 a recall of 47,419 Subaru vehicles from model years 2010 through 2013 with a defective key fob for the remote engine start function.
The affected vehicles all were equipped with an Audiovox remote engine starter (RES) accessory that, if dropped, may malfunction due to an internal battery clip shifting from the impact and causing damage to the PC board in the unit.
If the RES has been damaged and if the vehicle is in range of the unit, the unit may remotely cause the vehicle to start up and run for up to 15 minutes (or until a stop request is received).
The RES may send the start signal repeatedly causing the vehicle to continue to start and stop until the RES battery dies or the vehicle runs out of gas.
The risk is that there could be a buildup of carbon monoxide in an enclosed space like a garage that could pose a health risk to persons in or near the dwelling with the garage and vehicle that is running.
The defect does not pose a risk while driving as the RES is inactive after the vehicle has been started with a key.
The Subaru models affected are:
• Impreza / 2012-2013 with CVT transmission
• Legacy / 2010-2013 with Automatic or CVT transmissions
• Outback / 2010-2013 with Automatic or CVT transmissions
• XV Crosstrek / 2013 with CVT transmission
Subaru will begin the recall as soon as replacement RES units are available (estimated to be end of April).
The defective units will be replaced and reprogrammed to the vehicle (two per vehicle) at no charge to the customer.
The Subaru recall campaign number is WQF-42.
If owners have questions, they can call Subaru at 1-800-782-2783.